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I just flagged an answer as spam with a custom flag, but I'm having second thoughts.

The answer strikes me as a little rude, and there's an unnecessary link to what I'm guessing is a personal site.

I was tempted to just edit out the snark and self promotion, but I've heard that spam should be flagged and not edited, so moderators have an easier time spotting it.

I know that there are similar questions, but they don't seem to have a really conclusive answer.

What is the protocol here?

share|improve this question
You did not raise a spam flag... (not saying that's a bad thing, just saying your question wording is confusing) – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 3 '13 at 5:21
Edit, don't flag. Post a friendly comment explaining your edit, if you are feeling charitable. As a general rule, only call the mods when there's absolutely nothing you can do about whatever is going on. If there's something you can do, try that before you call the guns blazing monkeys. – Yannis Jun 3 '13 at 5:21
@BoltClock'saUnicorn I thought I did, should I try again or edit? – apaul34208 Jun 3 '13 at 5:23
No, you used a custom flag to describe it as spam, as opposed to using the spam flag provided by the UI. But that's alright - the answer has been edited so there's no need to flag again. Also, see the comment by Yannis above. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 3 '13 at 5:25
So for future reference be nice and edit, don't flag. – apaul34208 Jun 3 '13 at 5:36
up vote 14 down vote accepted

The answer is helpful and definitely should not be flagged as spam:

it is spam
This question is effectively an advertisement with no disclosure. It is not useful or relevant, but promotional.

I personally don't even find it that snarky, to be honest, although the caps and some formatting mistakes (likely due to the user being new to the site) didn't help. I made some edits for style and removed the signature link, so the answer should be all set in my opinion. Although, feel free to make further improvements if you have an in mind.

In general, if you can salvage an otherwise helpful post with a quick edit, you should do that first before you think about flagging for a moderator. There's only 16 mods on Stack Overflow right now and plenty more folks who can edit, so the best option is usually to help keep the quality up and the tone friendly via edits.

share|improve this answer
I would have edited had the link not been there... In this case the link was seen as a tagline and not spam, should I be editing out spam links when spotted? – apaul34208 Jun 3 '13 at 5:37
@apaul34208 If the answer is otherwise fine and doesn't just repeat other answers on the same question, yes. We don't want to lose valuable information just because someone thinks it's okay to tack on a link signature. If the answer is nothing but a promotional link, please don't edit it before flagging because then it's harder for moderators to figure out why a seemingly okay answer (post-edit) is flagged as spam. – Adam Lear Jun 3 '13 at 5:38
Thanks for the clarification – apaul34208 Jun 3 '13 at 5:40
An answer like this should be flagged, or seen as an attempt to answer and edited? From the username and the comments I'd tend to flag. – bummi Sep 27 '13 at 11:38
@bummi I'd flag that one, I think. – Adam Lear Oct 7 '13 at 16:04

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